Configure RSPAN with VMware

The Remote Switched Port Analyzer (RSPAN) enables you to monitor traffic on one switch through a device on another switch and then send the monitored traffic to one or more destinations.

Before you begin

RSPAN requires that you configure an RSPAN VLAN on your physical switches. If you cannot configure an RSPAN VLAN, consider configuring ERSPAN as an alternative. For more information, see How Mirroring Works.
  • You must have experience with basic VMware ESX and ESXi administration through the VMware vSphere Web Client.
  • You must have an uplink port (HW NIC) attached to the switch (preferably one that is not designated for general network traffic).
  • Direct access to the iDRAC console is preferred.

For information about configuring the VMware vSphere server, see the Working with Port Mirroring section in the ESXi and vCenter documentation for your version of VMware.

For information about configuring VMware with a Discover appliance, see Deploy the ExtraHop Discover Appliance with VMware.

The following steps outline the key procedures that are required to configure RSPAN with VMware for an ExtraHop Discover appliance. Note that procedures in these steps might vary between versions of VMware.
Note:While these steps are required for RSPAN configuration, most deployments have completed the first four steps prior to installing the ExtraHop Discover appliance. If you have an existing Virtual Distributed Switch, start with step 5.
  1. Create a virtual distributed switch (VDS)
  2. Add port groups to the VDS
  3. Add a host to the VDS
  4. Add uplink ports to the VDS
  5. Configure an RSPAN port mirror on the VDS

Create a virtual distributed switch

Complete the following steps to create a virtual distributed switch (VDS). The VDS carries traffic from your virtual machines (VM) to your physical network and to other VMs.
  1. Log into the vSphere Web Client.
  2. Click vCenter Inventory Lists.

  3. In the left panel, click Distributed Switches.

  4. Above the list of switches, click the Create a new distributed switch icon.
  5. In the New Distributed Switch window, type a name for the switch, select the destination datacenter or network folder, and then click Next.

  6. Select the distributed switch version and click Next.

  7. Edit the following settings:

    1. Set the Number of uplinks to two or more if your SPAN traffic is on a dedicated NIC (recommended). Otherwise, set this value to 1.
    2. Click the Network I/O Control drop-down list and select one of the following options.
      Disabled
      If your SPAN traffic on a dedicated NIC. (Recommended)
      Enabled
      If your SPAN traffic is on the same NIC as your monitored traffic.

Add port groups to the VDS

Complete the following steps to add port groups when you deploy a new virtual machine or add a new ESX host into your VDS environment. Port groups enable you to properly associate the new machine or host to the port group that is being monitored immediately.

  1. Click on Networking.

  2. Right-click the VDS and then select New Distributed Port Group.

  3. In the New Distributed Port Group window, type a name for the port group and click Next.

  4. Configure the following settings:

    1. Click the Port binding drop-down list and select Static binding.
    2. Click the Port allocation drop-down list and select Fixed.
    3. In the Number of ports field, type the number of ports you want to connect.
    4. Leave the default settings for the remaining items.
    5. Click Next.
  5. Verify your settings and click Finish.
    The new port group appears on the Manage tab.

  6. Repeat these steps for any additional port groups.

Add a host to the VDS

Complete the following steps to add a host to the VDS. Skip this procedure if all hosts have already been added to the cluster. We recommend that you dedicate one uplink for management and one uplink for spanning.

  1. Click Networking.

  2. Right-click the VDS and then select Add and Manage Hosts.
  3. In the Add and Manage Hosts dialog box, click the Add Hosts radio button and click Next.

  4. Click the plus icon to add a host.

  5. In the list of available hosts, select the checkbox next to the host and click OK.

  6. Select the host from the list and click Next.
  7. Select the checkboxes next to the network adapters you want to add to the host and click Next.
  8. Assign one of the NICs to the management port group.
    1. Select the network adapter from the list and click the Assign Port Group icon.
    2. In the Select Network pop-up window, select the port group to assign to the network adapter for management.
    3. Assign one NIC to the monitoring port group.
  9. Select the network adapter from the list and click the Assign Port Group icon.
  10. In the Select Network pop-up window, select the port group to assign to the network adapter for monitoring.

  11. After you have assigned each adapter to a Destination Port Group (in the far right column), click Next.

  12. On the Validate Changes screen, verify that the status has passed and click Next.

  13. Select the Migrate Virtual Machine Networking checkbox.

  14. Click the Assign Port Group icon and assign a network adapter for management and a network adapter for monitoring, and click Next.
  15. Verify your settings and click Finish.

  16. View the progress bar in the right panel and wait for the system to add the host.

    The following figure shows an example configuration.

Complete the following steps to add an uplink port to the VDS. You must assign one uplink port to the VDS for each associated host.

  1. Browse to a host in the vSphere Web Client.
  2. Click the Manage tab, and then select Networking > Virtual Switches.

  3. From the list, select the distributed switch you want to add an uplink port to.
  4. Click Manage the physical network adapters .
  5. Click Add .
  6. From the list, select a network adapter and then select the uplink port from the drop-down menu that you want to assign to the network adapter.
  7. Click OK.

Configure an RSPAN port mirror

Complete the following steps to configure an RSPAN port mirror to view traffic on the VDS, to configure the local switch to view external traffic, and to configure the ExtraHop virtual Discover appliance to do a combination of both. The ExtraHop virtual Discover appliance can be deployed in environments with multiple ESX servers connected with a virtual distributed switch (VDS).

This section assumes that the ExtraHop Discover appliance is deployed on an ESX host that is managed by vCenter with a configured VDS. You must connect a local switch to an uplink port that is configured as a remote span port with RSPAN VLAN. The port will be specified as the destination port for the port mirror. The RSPAN VLAN will carry the mirrored traffic and can span multiple switches to reach the ExtraHop Discover appliance. The following diagram illustrates the port mirror setup.

  1. Click on Networking.
  2. Select your VDS and ensure that the Settings tab is selected.
  3. Click Port mirroring.

  4. Click New....
  5. In the Add Port Mirroring Session wizard, select Remote Mirroring Destination, and then click Next.

  6. Provide a session name, change the Status to Enabled, and then specify the encapsulated VLAN ID. This RSPAN VLAN is configured on the local switch.
  7. Click Next.

  8. Click the plus icon to add the source VLAN IDs that you want to monitor, and then click Next.
  9. Specify the destination ports that you want to monitor and then click Next. This destination port is the uplink port from which you should have a remote span port configured on your local switch.
  10. Verify the summary information and then click Finish to add the port mirror.
Published 2017-06-26 16:05